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Deal and Fortner training together for tennis state championships

Perrysburg's Mason Deal and Bryan's Jay Fortner are helping each other prepare for the Ohio tennis championships on Friday and Saturday.

MONCLOVA, Ohio — The Ohio High school state tennis championships begin on Friday down in Mason, Ohio near Cincinnati.

Two local players took some time this week to help each other prepare for the trip.

Mason Deal from Perrysburg is making his first trip to states and Jay Fortner from Bryan is making his third trip. Fortner is 31-0 this year and Deal is 20-0

This week they got together out in Monclova to practice. They won't play against each other because they're in different divisions, but as the old saying goes, iron sharpens iron, and these two are excited for the challenge.

"I'm excited. I think it's really cool because we're both going down to states and we're both going to see what we can do," said Deal. "He's been there more than I have so he knows what to expect more than I do. We'll see what we can do and help each other out here."

"Coming from the area that I come from and playing some of the teams that we play during the season, I don't really get competition that challenges me a lot of the time," said Fortner. "So being able to play players like Mason is a really big deal for me to be able to prepare for the state-level competition, because it's just completely different once you get down there to Cincinnati."

Both Deal and Fortner are hoping to make some noise in the state championships and bring home the hardware.

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